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Encore on CBS' 'Vegas'

10/25/2012 1:27 PM Eastern

A sheriff (Dennis Quaid) faces off against a crime boss (Michael Chiklis) in 1960s Sin City on the CBS series Vegas. The show is shot primarily at Santa Clarita Studios near Hollywood, where designers built a period version of the famed Fremont Street of Old Vegas on the facility’s back lot. It’s the task of the team at Encore VFX to digitally enhance the illusion with digital set extensions, including detailed classic casinos and various other period-accurate details.

The company’s creative director/VFX supervisor Stephan Fleet works on the set, collaborating with production to help determine effective ways to shoot the many sequences that will be subsequently composited with digitally created elements. The team initially built LiDAR scans of the set and 3D lead Mitch Gates brought that 3D information into Autodesk 3ds Max so that he and his team could efficiently “rebuild” Fremont Street, including extending upper stories to the hero buildings and extending the street in both directions. Encore also designed the main sign and upper floors of the hero casino, known as the Savoy.

Encore’s SynthEyes tracking team matches movements of CGI and live-action elements. 2D work is performed in The Foundry Nuke and Autodesk Flame. Iterations of shots travel back and forth from Santa Clarita to Hollywood, allowing collaboration between production and VFX departments.